Ten Myths About Calvinism

Ten Myths About Calvinism

April 17, 2012 @

This is the title of a book written by Kenneth J. Stewart, with the subtitle Recovering the Breadth of the Reformed Tradition (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2011). Stewart is professor of theological studies and former chair of the department of biblical and theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.

In looking at the “I” (irresistible grace) in the so-called “Five Points of Calvinism,” I stumbled upon these interesting quotes from the book:

[T]he I in TULIP was actually a caricature of the position championed in the Synod of Dordt. Those who derided the Reformed idea of effectual calling or prevailing grace branded it “irresistible.”[n53] This is the kind of inside information that needs circulating. It should change popular Calvinism’s use of TULIP.

And this is note 53:

The “I” of the acronym T-U-L-I-P, far from encapsulating Dordt’s intended emphasis, actually relays the protest of the Dutch Remonstrants against early seventeenth-century Calvinism in a way dependent on Jesuit writers of that time. How is it possible that irresistible, a term intended to besmirch and caricature the concept of a grace that eventually prevails over all opposition, has been taken up and championed by those it was meant to portray unfavorably? See Anthony Hoekema, Saved by Grace (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), pages 104–5.

Though I still have to get a copy of this book, the Table of Contents, together with the cover, is interesting:

Another striking quote about the early origins of the predestinarian doctrine:

Luther and Zwingli had themselves taken over this conception of predestination from theologians of the medieval period… And all these were indebted ultimately to the ideas about predestination set out by Augustine of Hippo. We find little in predestinarian thought in the Reformation era that is truly new” (pages 48-49).

In his concluding remarks, one of Stewart’s exhortations to those who adhere to the Reformed principles of Christianity is this:

 

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